Day After Tomorrow
(Bobolink/Razor & Tie)
A half-century into her career, Joan Baez is still a folkie to be reckoned with, said Jim Abbott in the Orlando Sentinel. The “crystalline” soprano and “unwavering social conscience” that have made her a music legend remain strong on her 24th album. The 67-year-old “seems to have dialed back her powerful vocal delivery,” but this “quieter approach” only reflects the wisdom of age. Produced by Steve Earle, Day After Tomorrow is a “warm, intimate” collection of understated material from artists who share her commitment to the highest quality of songwriting. Baez once again interprets songs—from the likes of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and Earle himself—with respect and affection. Baez and Earle form a “fruitful partnership,” said Jody Rosen in Rolling Stone. Her piercing voice has always had a “prophetic sound.” But Earle’s production uses salt-of-the-earth gruffness to counter Baez’s “ethereal tendencies.” He never tries to reinvent her, though, said William Ruhlmann in All Music Guide. Every selection, from Earle’s “Jericho Road” to Waits’ “Day After Tomorrow,” seems planted firmly “in the tradition” of her repertoire. Earle has taken the spirit, the sound, and, most important, the message of Baez’s yesterday and transferred them to today.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Ban PowerPoint!
- Rise of the machines
Subscribe to the Week